With boundless energy and an insatiable desire to create beautiful moments and things, Kathryn Forth had big plans for the property at 2A Shanks Road, Aldgate before she and her partner, Jim Hawtin, got their hands on the keys.
The couple purchased the four-bedroom, two-bathroom property in 2021 as their first home together, choosing the Adelaide Hills for a new lifestyle.
“Jim is from Perth, so he grew up living near the water and spending time at the beaches and lakes in Western Australia and I wanted to show him a completely different way of living,” Kathryn says.
“The Adelaide Hills are so uniquely South Australian – there is no other place where you can be surrounded by so much nature but also have all these beautiful wineries and hospitality venues right on your doorstep while still being so close to town.
“When we first moved here, Jim didn’t even really drink wine. Now, he goes to tastings and swirls his glass around and makes comments on their notes like some kind of connoisseur.”
Kathryn and Jim were engaged when they moved to Aldgate and, because it was the peak of the pandemic, they decided to host their wedding at their new home.
“We had the ceremony in the silver birch forest and, as I walked down the aisle, the sun came out and cast this beautiful dappled light through the leaves which was absolutely magical,” Kathryn says.
As a fashion designer, it only made sense for Kathryn to make her own dress and with the help of her mother they re-enacted the “crafternoons” they would spend together making pompoms when Kathryn was a child and designed an incredible bridal gown.
The wedding was made even more special with the help of Kathryn’s creative friends who were in charge of hairstyling, makeup, photography, decor and florals.
“Having the wedding at home was really important as we wanted to bring our families together and create the first of many happy memories as husband and wife in our private sanctuary.”
With the home making its mark on their memories, Kathryn and Jim wanted to return the favour and put their stamp on the property.
“It is an absolutely beautiful home with such unique architecture representing a period, and we wanted to freshen it up for the modern era while still staying true to its character,” Kathryn says.
“We wanted to make sure all its best features shone.”
The couple purchased the property from its original owners who designed and built the property in the ’80s, one mud brick at a time to salute mid-century architecture.
The home is built in an L-shape with a large deck creating ideal vistas of the surrounding gardens that sprawl in all directions – a creek meanders between silver birch trees and lush lawns perfect for picnics while hidden pockets reveal secret gardens and quaint spots to enjoy a glass of wine while soaking up the afternoon sunshine.
The garden’s diversity makes it a haven for local wildlife, with families of ducks sharing the pond with turtles and frogs, and plenty of koalas and kangaroos making the property their home.
Inside the home, every aspect is complementary to the great outdoors – huge windows look out to brilliant vistas and wooden raked ceilings, stone splashbacks and earthy tones nod to the property’s natural beauty.
The open-plan living, dining and kitchen is the heart of the home, offering a space to relax and unwind while basking in nature’s beauty.
“It has a real treehouse vibe which we love,” Kathryn says. “It is so cosy with its beautiful combustion fireplace and the views outside make you feel even more snuggly and cosy inside – it feels almost like being in a big cubby house.”
The bedrooms are split into two wings – the large master suite is privately situated to the north of the home with its en suite and walk-in-robe, while the guest suite boasts another three bedrooms and a bathroom in the southern wing.
“The different wings create a sense of privacy which is nice because when people come up to visit, we always go to a winery and our friends often can’t drive home after that, so it is nice to have the room to stay.”
Feeling as though they have done all they can for the property, Kathryn and Jim are ready for a new creative project they can work on together.
“It is definitely bittersweet because we absolutely adore this home, but we are the kind of people who always need to have something in the works and we really enjoyed creating a beautiful home together, so we are excited for the next one,” Kathryn says.
“From being our first home together to having our wedding here and bringing our baby girl home to the beautiful pink blossoms that bloom outside her bedroom window during her birthday month, it has been a very special home.”
The sale is being handled by Arabella Hooper and Taryn Varcoe of Harris Real Estate.